12.11.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

CSIRO/CRISPR Monopolies on Life (Through Patent Law) May Soon be Dead

Posted in Patents at 2:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Does changing an organism genetically (by selective breeding or gene editing) give one ownership of anything new of its kind?

Pug

Summary: In an age of patented pigs (EPO) and plants/seeds it’s important to keep an eye on the CRISPR patent dispute

OUR previous post covered the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) upcoming decision on Life Technologies Corp. v Promega Corp. — a case that can certainly impact patent scope at the USPTO, much like Mayo did.

In related news, CRISPR will be challenged quite soon and the patent microcosm isn’t too happy about it. “Open Source Advocates Want CRISPR Technology to Be Free,” one patent maximalist wrote (paraphrasing the headline). Well, “Open Source Advocates” are not alone in this and the key question here is patent scope, not cost. As Benjamin Henrion put it, “does it take the form of a computer program?”

Well, patents on life are certainly a step too far. We need to ask ourselves who benefits here. See the new article titled “This Is How the CRISPR Trial Will Determine Our Future” (from Vice):

Arguments in a trial to determine ownership of CRISPR, a gene editing technology, started Tuesday in Virginia. The outcome will determine who gets ownership of an incredibly lucrative and incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to “treat” genetic disease.

Two groups are contending for the editing technology patent: on one side is MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard University, and on the other is the University of California, Berkeley.

The first patent for this technology was filed in 2012 by University of California, Berkeley, researchers for their work describing how genes could be edited in-vitro, The Scientist reported. Later in 2012, researchers at Harvard and MIT filed a patent for editing genes in eukaryotic cells—like those in a forming baby. The UC Berkeley researchers claimed the second patent violated their patent, and this week’s trial will determine who gets intellectual rights to the technology.

The following article was sent to us by some readers over the weekend:

They lined up early Monday morning for ringside seats at the most sensational scientific showdown in the modern era.

The moment the doors opened, lawyers, reporters and hedge fund investors raced for a spot in the cramped, windowless U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va.

The tension in the room was electric, as the historic fight for the patent rights to the CRISPR gene editing technology got underway.

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a revolutionary gene editing tool that allows scientists to edit DNA with unparalleled ease and precision. Two prominent public institutions — MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute and University of California Berkeley — are locked in a legal cage match, fighting to privatize CRISPR.

It could be months before a victor emerges, but the winner will walk away with billions of dollars in licensing fees and total control over one of the world’s most important scientific discoveries.

The Atlantic too has explained the importance of this case:

Nobody could recall such a long line at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. On Tuesday, more than an hour before the scheduled hearing for a bitterly contested patent dispute over the gene-editing tool CRISPR, a line of lawyers, journalists, and biotech industry execs had snaked through the lobby and across the giant Christmas tree that bedecks government-agency headquarters at this time of the year.

Of course, the dispute over CRISPR is no ordinary patent battle. CRISPR is a potentially revolutionary technique that is so broadly useful across medicine, agriculture, and industry that it could earn the dispute’s winner billions of dollars. Lawyers for the University of California, Berkeley, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard both argue that their scientists had invented CRISPR first.

The hearing was part of something called an interference proceeding—a piece of patent law that is quite literally archaic now. On March 16, 2013, the U.S. patent system switched the way patents are awarded: Previously, a patent was granted to the very first party to invent something; now, a patent simply goes to whoever files a patent application for an invention first. As it happened, Berkeley filed its initial patent just one day before the March 16 switchover. So here we are trying to figure out who invented CRISPR first.

“CSIRO [of CRISPR infamy received] a fair amount of undeserved bad press,” IAM wrote (defending CSIRO, obviously!), “some even going so far as to label it a ‘troll’” because it is (see our wiki page about it).

Will this madness finally end, at long last?

More patents do not imply more innovation. The Appeals Court, according to this new article from Mike Masnick, also reminds us that “Patent Infringement Is Good For Competition”.

“Of course,” Masnick writes, “if you’re playing along with the home game, you should already be scratching your head. After all, patents themselves are monopolies. So, if anything, you’d think that any antitrust argument would be focused on the patent holder rather than the patent infringer. But, here, RTI is arguing that the patent infringement itself is a form of an antitrust violation, as it’s part of BD’s effort to foreclose competition.”

Faulty logic. For over a decade we have said the same thing about patents, even back when Microsoft used them to expand its monopoly and assert authority or reign over Novell (and by extension GNU/Linux). If only more people cared to study the real (original) purpose of patents and their impact on competition, a lot of those puff pieces about “innovation” would be long gone.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  2. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  4. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  5. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  6. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  8. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  9. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  10. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  12. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  13. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  16. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  17. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  18. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal



  20. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money



  22. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  23. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] The Austrian School of Friedrich Rude Liar

    With reference to the Austrian School, let’s consider the fact that Friedrich Rude Liar might in fact be standing to personally gain by plundering the EPO‘s staff by demonising them while helping Benoît Battistelli crush them



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 17, 2021



  26. How (Simple Technical Steps) to Convince Yourself That DuckDuckGo is Just Spyware Connected to Microsoft, Falsely Advertised as 'Privacy'

    In recent days we published or republished some bits and pieces about what DuckDuckGo really is; the above reader dropped by to enlighten us and demonstrate just how easy it is to see what DuckDuckGo does even at the client side (with JavaScript); more people need to confront DuckDuckGo over this and warn colleagues/friends/family (there’s more here)



  27. Austria's Right-Wing Politicians Displaying Their Arrogance to EPO Examiners

    The EPO‘s current regime seems to be serving a money-hungry lobby of corrupt officials and pathological liars; tonight we focus on Austria



  28. [Meme] Friedrich Rödler's Increasingly Incomprehensible Debt Quagmire, Years Before EPO Money Was Trafficked Into the Stock Market

    As it turns out, numerous members of the Administrative Council of the EPO are abundantly corrupt and greedy; They falsely claim or selfishly pretend there’s a financial crisis and then moan about a "gap" that does not exist (unless one counts the illegal gambling, notably EPOTIF, which they approved), in turn recruiting or resorting to scabs that help improve ‘profit margins’



  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…

    Prior to the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regime the EPO‘s hard-working staff was slandered by a corrupt Austrian official, Mr. Rödler



  30. Links 17/10/2021: Blender 2.93.5, Microsoft Bailouts

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts